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Google launches Web safety campaign

The search giant's new ads offer information on protecting your personal data online -- and how to opt out of tracking.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 19, 2012 4:54PM

This post comes from Seth Fiegerman at partner siteMainStreet.


Google is finally launching a series of advertisements that users might actually want to see pop up while searching online. And no, we're not talking about the random listings that appear at the top of your Gmail when you least expect it.


Google's consumer education ad campaign aims to make users more aware of best practices to monitor and protect their personal information online, according to an announcement on the company blog. The ads range from suggestions to sign up for two-step verification when signing into online accounts to reminders about how to make sure a website is secure before entering any sensitive personal information.


In addition to putting the ads online, Google plans to feature them in select print publications and even in subway stations in New York and Washington, D.C. The company has also created a dedicated website to document the effort called Good to Know, which goes beyond the ads to explain how and why Google tracks users' personal information, often in very delicate terms like this:


"Say you go to the same coffee shop every morning for a latte and the same barista makes it for you every day. Chances are he'll know your order before you even walk through the door. Websites, including Google, have learned a lot from this relationship. We've learned that we can serve you better if we get to know you better." Post continues below.

What's more useful though is Google's advice for how to get out of this tracking relationship. For example, the company notes that you can delete your browser's cookies or install the Keep My Opt-Outs extension for the Chrome browser. And if you don't know what any of that means, Google has explanations for those too.


Needless to say, there is something a little strange about Google urging consumers to become more aware of how their data is tracked online when the company is one of the most well-known for tracking customer data.


That said, since Google already knows everything about you, you might as well know a little something more about it.


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